Facebook and Twitter sales teams will tell you that posts aligning with time relevant events (like national holidays, sporting events, etc.) receive the most interaction. But many times brands have a hard time using their owned media to support a general, non-brand specific message. It looks like this MLK day some brands caught on and even implemented this insight. Walmart took it a step further and promoted its post as ad.
Insight? - Even if a brand’s post doesn’t sell a product or promote one of its current campaigns, positing content that is interesting to users and results in a response is just as valuable. Possibly it is even more valuable, since the message connects with users on a more personal level and resembles and interaction made between friends on the site.
Yesterday sites across the blogosphere released articles about Facebook’s plan to launch “major” profile changes at Thursday’s f8 conference. But today when you sign into Facebook, you’ll be greeted with a few notes updating you on changes made to your homepage.
1. Top Stories (Combines Most Recent and Top News) - Your newsfeed will now feature your most “interesting” stories at the top marked with blue in the top left corner. These tops stories will be determined by who posted it, your relationship to them, and the number of likes and comments their post receives. What’s most likely to appear at the top for the average Facebook user? The most recent stories, larger photos, and of course any posts that have been made to your wall while you were away. Less frequent users will see top photos and status updates. Users will still be able to hide unwanted posts and view only friends lists within their newsfeeds.
Tip: You can control which stories make it to your top story list by rolling over the top right side of any story.
2. Ticker- Word about this new addition leaked earlier this summer in June, but the feature is now live on user’s homepages. This new addition will allow people to see what their friends are commenting on, liking and sharing in real-time. Users will be able to click on an update to expand a pop-up window, and see the entire update’s thread.
Do these updates foreshadow tomorrow’s impending profile updates? Check back later this week for an update.
A preview of the influence measuring site’s newest feature is now available to users who opted into the Topic pages preview perk last month, according to Klout’s blog. Over the next few weeks more and more users will be able to check out the feature, but for now…here’s a sneak peak.
Topics will now have pages that include:
What’s the benefit for users?
How accurate are these new topic pages?
At this point, it’s hard to tell. If you’re like me, you’ve checked out your Klout score profile and found that out of the three topics you’re considered “most influential about” at least one doesn’t seem to make sense. For now, Klout’s relying on users to keep topics accurate by allowing them to hide those that don’t make sense.
Even with its heavy reliance on user moderation, it seems that Klout topic pages will prove to be a more accurate social media directory source due to its analysis of user’s influential topics compared to other sites that allow users to input them themselves.
Yesterday Twitter rolled out its newest photo-sharing feature, Image Galleries. Much like the photo component Twitter launched a few months ago within search, this new feature will create an aggregated photo gallery, but on users’ profile pages. The gallery will collect up to 100 of the user’s most recent uploads (dating back to January 1st, 2010) from photo-sharing services like Twitter, Twitpic, Instagram and Yfrog.
With the focus of photos ramping up on Twitter, it’s interesting to see the difference in brands who have been actively using photos and those who haven’t. See how some brands’ image galleries compare.
National Geographic: National Geographic has established itself in the world of photojournalism, and most recently won a top ASME award in the category. So far the institution has created a hub for photography on its website and Facebook page by focusing on the Photo of the Day, Galleries of Photos, Wallpapers, Photo Tips, and more. But what’s its approach to photo sharing on Twitter?
Currently the National Geographic Twitter account has over 900,000 followers and only four photos on its profile page.
As a non-profit, this new Twitter feature is a great, free way for National Geographic to share photos of the day and photography tips to gain new followers, spark conversation, and further establish themselves as a venerable photography reference within the digital world.
Skittles: Skittles has done a great job building its presence within Facebook, and has gathered over 19 million fans on its page. Posting one-liners every day, Skittles received 242,729 comments and likes total in just 30 days. Skittles’ focus on Facebook as its main social platform is obvious when looking at its Twitter account, which only has around 15,000 followers. Its image gallery, however, already contains pics reflecting the light-hearted tone of the hard shelled, fruit candy brand. With just four images so far, Skittles has the opportunity to enrich its social media presence by building up its content and followers on Twitter.
The Today Show: America’s #1 morning show has the opportunity to share its exclusive photos from around the world, on set, behind the scenes and more with its almost 900,000 followers on Twitter. And it is doing just that. Its photo gallery includes images from a sunset in the Bahamas to a radar around Hurricane Irene to behind the scenes footage from music performances.
Have you seen any other photo galleries on Twitter that stuck out to you as good or bad?
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese’s latest campaign, Smile Tagging, is a great example of a brand building its social media strategy on proven human insights to create a lasting relationship between a brand and its consumers. Its new campaign capitalizes on people’s habit of sharing funny things they find on the web with others and their affinity for photo sharing.
The Facebook application invites users to take a picture of themselves smiling and send it along with a funny video, website or picture they find on the web.
My favorite so far is a site that was passed around my office earlier this week - www.leisuredive.com, which has of course made its way into Kraft’s Smile Tagging app. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you’re prepared to laugh out loud at your desk.
After Facebook’s launch in 2004, it quickly became one of the few sites to offer unlimited photo uploads making photo sharing the site’s most popular feature. This popularity has continued to grow over the years with 6 billion photos uploaded each month. Two years later, Twitter launched. Positioning itself as a social texting service for users to share updates to their friends, family, etc., it evolved into a website and mobile app that gathered all users’ real-time updates into one timeline. While it is no surprise that Facebook and Twitter have constantly developed their platforms to accommodate users’ habits, it is surprising that just this month the platforms seem to be in a race to acquire each other’s founding features – photos and real-time news updates.
Facebook which adopted Twitter’s @ tagging feature in 2009, began testing another new Twitteresque feature late last week, the “Happening Now” feed. This new addition will allow people to see what their friends are commenting on, liking and sharing in real-time. Unlike Twitter, users will be able to click on an update to expand a pop-up window, and see the entire update’s thread.
(Picture credit: DazeInfo)
In April, rumors surfaced about Twitter’s intent to add “Facebook-style” branded pages to its platform. And earlier this month, Twitter added photos and videos to search. Now when a user searches within Twitter, top images and videos associated with the search term appear on the right side of the results page. Much like Facebook’s current photo albums, users can click on these images or videos and view them within a full page viewer or “view all” in a grid on a new page. To take Twitter’s photo integration a step further, the platform is also pairing up with Apple to make photo sharing easier for iPhone, iPad, and iPod users. Announced at Apple’s WWDC, iOS 5 will now come with a “tweet” option within Twitter and Apple apps, allowing users to take a picture and share to Twitter with the click of a button.
(Picture credit: TechCrunch)
Think this battle is ending anytime soon? Doesn’t look like it, but the good news is - fierce competition means better products for users. Just today, Tech Crunch shared an initial look at Facebook’s plans to create a new photo sharing app that links to the “Happening Now” feature currently being tested. The new app will give Facebook user’s an easier Instagram-like way to upload photos on the go. For more on this new Facebook photo app, check out Tech Crunch’s article.
Twitter has become a common household name since its launch in 2006 with 87% of people now aware of the platform (just 1% less than Facebook) and 200 million users. Thanks to its obvious value to the news industry, it’s now a part of nightly news’ daily routine, most recently reaching headlines for the Royal Wedding and Osama Bin Laden’s death, which actually broke on the platform earlier this week. With an increasingly prominent presence, it’s no surprise that Twitter is constantly evolving its money maker – paid media.
Twitter currently offers brands the ability to purchase promoted trends, tweets and accounts. And they must be doing well. In February, the cost of its most successful paid media, promoted trends, jumped from $70-80K to $100-120K. And while many brands are still trying to get promoted trends down to a science, there are a few that are heading in the right direction.
While a thank you tweet is a nice thought, it’s definitely not all that’s driving this $100,000 something media placement. At noon EST today, Coke will be hosting an exclusive live stream concert featuring top artists - K’Naan, Natasha Bedingfield, Kelly Clarkson, One Night Only and Ne-Yo to celebrate its 125th anniversary with fans. In the meantime, Coke’s sending users to its microsite, providing fans with a concert countdown and a nod to its Facebook page.
What did Coke get right?
Radio Shack - In December of 2010 @RadioShack launched #IfIHadSuperPowers giving fans a fun and engaging way to win prizes around the holidays.
To enter, users were asked to follow @RadioShack, submit a Twitpic with their hand held out, like the one to the right, and include #IfIHadSuperPowers. Throughout the day, RadioShack doctored photos and turned all entrants into Holiday Heroes, selecting winners by placing the prize in their new superhero hands.
What did Radio Shack get right?
With Coke and Radio Shack among leaders in the promoted trend space, what can other brands take from their strategy?
Social networks’ infiltration of the majority of industries has given the space a larger reach, making it a valuable tool for listening to and reaching consumers.
Think your industry doesn’t have a place in social media? See how these unlikely industries are breaking in to the space to provide value to consumers.
Movie Industry - Over the past year, movie studios have dramatically increased film promotion within social media platforms. The recently Paramount promoted, romantic comedy,“No Strings Attached,” built up an extensive presence on Facebook and Twitter, utilizing paid media on both platforms. Opening weekend, the film took the No. 1 spot at the top of the box office.
This month, we saw Warner Brothers integrate with social media in an unprecedented way for the movie industry. Potentially responding to Facebook users’ interest in movies, and the 700 billion minutes users spend on the site per month, Warner Brothers became the first studio to offer movie rentals on the platform. The Dark Night is now available for rent on Facebook for $3 or 30 Facebook Credits. Not only does this launch seem to foreshadow big things for the movie industry on social media, but also a development for social media ROI. Studios now have the ability to drive direct sales from within a Facebook ad and see measurable ROI. Just this week, Warner Brothers added 5 new flicks to its Facebook catalog. Each film is now for rent on its respective Facebook page allowing the studio to tap into its readily available fan base.
Credit Card Industry - The digitally savvy credit card company, American Express, jumped on the SXSW bandwagon this year to provide benefits to Austin locals. Partnering with Foursquare, the duo piloted a new rewards program that gave users who checked in at participating locations and purchased at least $5 worth of goods a $5 credit on their AmEx statement. Aside from this offer, the first purchase triggered an exclusive Foursquare badge and donated $1 to the Austin based charity, Grounded in Music.
While many industries are advancing into the digital space, there are still many who have yet to engage in the platform. So what’s next? Find out where your customers are talking online (it’s not always Facebook and Twitter). Chances are they’re online looking to engage with your brand/company, so get online and start responding.